The food delivery industry has been massively disrupted in recent years with a plethora of food delivery apps offering a wide variety of meal options and real-time tracking.
These delivery services compete in a crowded and competitive landscape, and some have been chased out as a result of the immense competition. One company that has thrived is Deliveroo.
Since its inception in the United Kingdom in 2013, Deliveroo has grown to be one of the market leaders – introducing new features to its core delivery services while bucking the digital trend and going offline with physical stores.
Siddharth Shanker, General Manager at Deliveroo Singapore, shares the company’s approach to competing in the saturated food delivery industry.
Q: Traditional businesses are trying to go digital, but Deliveroo is bucking the trend with physical dining stores. Why is that?
While Deliveroo started off as a solely online food delivery service, our brand purpose of delivering food happiness underpins everything we do. This runs the entire gamut from bringing on new restaurants or partners like Impossible Foods onboard our platform because we know there’s a huge consumer demand for sustainable meat options, to setting up Deliveroo Food Market, our latest super kitchen concept with a dine-in space. Whether it’s online or brick-and-mortar, we are all about food and helping people access their favourite food, whenever and wherever they want it.
We don’t see brick-and-mortar versus online as a tug-or-war, we see the two as being mutually reinforcing.
Our online delivery helps bricks and mortar restaurants grow by enabling them to reach new customers. Restaurants who partner with us see their sales grow by on average 30%. Also, with the introduction of Food Market, we offer customers a wide range of choice to get great food.
Q: How does Deliveroo use hyper-personalisation to simplify the experience for consumers?
We are working to personalise our platform so that the experience is reflective of consumers’ tastes. This means they will see options that reflect what they order regularly and what similar customers order. We want to give consumers the widest possible range of food choices and to help them find the restaurants that they will most likely enjoy.
Q: So, what challenges in the food delivery industry is Deliveroo focusing on next?
We see a huge growth opportunity for food delivery services in Singapore. A recent consumer survey by market research consultancy Blackbox revealed that food delivery services will continue to grow at an overwhelming pace with consumers’ increased usage of and spending on food delivery apps. Seven in 10 customers order from food delivery apps at least once a month, and more than half stated increased usage of food delivery apps over the past two years. Over 80% foresee they will likely use food delivery more frequently in the future. Choice, convenience and the efficiency of delivery services are customers’ top criteria when choosing a food delivery service.
We’ll be working on improving what we’re doing well to be even better, including investing in technology to optimise and make the order and delivery process more efficient and bringing more of Singaporeans’ favourite food onto our platforms.
We’ve seen strong demand for local hawker food and have a dedicated team to bring onboard quality hawkers and affordable local favourites.
We know it’s extremely tough for restaurants to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive F&B landscape, so we will be looking into introducing new features like ‘virtual brands’ that are essentially restaurants that exist on Deliveroo only with a new identity and menu offering.
Virtual brands allow restaurants to reach potential customers who might never have heard of them before with new or more accessible concepts and are also an excellent way for restaurants to streamline and market test menus. Restaurant partners who have introduced virtual brands have seen significant revenue increases.
Q: Does sustainability come into play in your innovation process?
Our mission is to bring customers amazing food, but it’s also important that we do so in a sustainable way. Some of the changes that we have made to make our delivery service more sustainable include:
Committing to remove all shark fin dishes from our platforms — 150 shark fin dishes from 34 different restaurants were removed and no such dishes will be available on the platform in future.
Introducing an opt-in function for plastic cutlery, which asks customers whether they want to receive cutlery with their order, to encourage customers to reduce plastic waste.
Partnering with Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley food tech pioneer behind the plant-based Impossible™ Burger, to offer Impossible dishes on our platform; this gives consumers an even wider choice of more sustainable options.
Investing in long-term solutions to develop first-of-its-kind sustainable packaging which is ideal for food delivery.
Q: What does the future of Deliveroo look like to you?
We want to become the definitive delivery company, that’s our north star and long-term ambition. The key thing in all we do is to support our restaurant partners in bringing consumers the widest possible choice of food whenever and wherever they want them.
Siddharth Shanker is General Manager of Deliveroo Singapore. He will be speaking at DBS Asia X, the bank’s innovation centre, in August 2019 as part of DAX U — a series of learning clinics to promote an innovation culture.